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Oecologia. 2004 May;139(3):354-8. Epub 2004 Mar 11.

Supplementary fed Ural owls increase their reproductive output with a one year time lag.

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Bird Ecology Unit, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1), 00014 , Finland.


Life-history components may be food-limited. We supplemented food to 18 Ural owl, Strix uralensis, nests during the nestling period. Food supplementation led to a higher somatic condition in the female parent, but effects in males were moderate. Parents delivered less food to fed nests than to control nests. Offspring survival and fledging condition did not differ between control and fed nests. In the season following food supplementation, fed pairs bred 1 week earlier than control pairs and, coupled to this advance in laying date, fed pairs produced 0.6 eggs more than control pairs. This is the first evidence that food limitation in the current season may constrain next season's reproduction. Such carry-over effects of food-limitation may have important consequences for population dynamics.

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